First Birth, After,

Shallow-end drowning
is no myth to us.

A couple inches here
is all we need to wash or die.

I can hold my breath
under taps for hours,

the faucet fueling
whatever’s left to float.

Still, I can surface too fast—
bubbles boiling my blood.

I’ve shaved my legs
with toothbrushes.

I’ve brushed my teeth
with razors you left.

I’ve birthed our babies
straight into their graves.

I’ll take too many baths
and soak in my own filth

to ever be called clean.

Written by

1   Posts

Aaron Sandberg has appeared or is forthcoming in Asimov's, No Contact, Alien Magazine, The Shore, The Offing, Sporklet, Right Hand Pointing, Halfway Down the Stairs, Crow & Cross Keys, Burningword Journal, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, you can see him—and his poetry posts—on Instagram @aarondsandberg.

View All Posts